query_builder October 17, 2017, 04:02 PM | Overseas Education
Are you Considering Germany as a destination for your higher education?
With over 370 universities offering a wide variety of courses in various disciplines to over 240,000 international students among others, Germany is all set to add that extra element to your professional life. We hope that the information we provide you here helps you in making a decision that will lay a solid foundation for your career.
What is the German university system like?
There are mainly two types of institutions of higher education in Germany: Universities (including Universities of Technology, abbr. TU) are research-oriented and offer a wide variety of subjects. These can award doctorate degrees.
Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen, abbr. FH), on the other hand, are practice-oriented and offer courses mainly in engineering, business administration, social sciences and design. These have strong links to the industry and offer possibilities like joint supervision of the professor and a company for a master thesis. Fachhochschulen do not award doctorate degrees, however as a master degree holder from a Fachhochschule, one is in principle eligible to apply for a doctoral position at a University. Your interest and inclination should define which of the two kinds of institutions you choose!
Which is the best university in Germany?
The German answer to this question is: There is no "best university", neither in one subject and certainly not across all subjects. What Germany offers instead is a multidimensional ranking, considering various criteria like student and staff judgments on quality of teaching, atmosphere at the university, library and other equipment, student numbers, average study duration, number of graduations, third party funding etc. Several tables based on these considerations give you a detailed picture of the strengths and weaknesses of each university on www.university-ranking.de . Here you can find your programme by selecting a subject, a university or even a city in Germany!
What kind of bachelor programmes does Germany offer?
There is wide range of study programmes with
i. German as medium of instruction. A database of these programmes is available at http://www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/alle-studiengaenge/06540.en.html
ii. English as the sole or primary medium of instruction, called International Degree Programmes (IDPs). A database of such programmes is available at http://www.daad.de/international-programmes
Am I eligible to apply for a bachelor degree course?
In Germany, every university is autonomous. This means that every university / study programme has its own set of criteria for admitting students. So please check the university website, and specifically the course you are interested in to find out the exact admission requirements. Universities will ask for very good German language skills in case you want to take up a programme / Studienkolleg in German medium. In such cases, your knowledge of German needs to be certified through examinations like the TestDaF (http://www.testdaf.de).
In principle you are eligible to apply for a bachelor programme if you fulfill one of the following criteria:
I. Successfully completing the first year of a bachelor programme from a recognized university in India in the relevant subject field.
II. Successfully clearing the IIT Joint Entrance Examination for admission to courses in technology and natural sciences.
III. Passing the qualification assessment examination in Germany, called Feststellungspruefung.The Feststellungspruefung is an examination conducted by universities that assesses your proficiency in subjects that are crucial to your chosen degree programme and also in German language. A foundation course (Studienkolleg) in Germany can help you prepare for this examination. This is a full-time course with about 32 hours of instruction per week and usually takes upto two semesters to complete. The two components of the course are German language and subjects relevant to the study programme you want to register for later. The minimum eligibility criteria for enrolment in a Studienkolleg are a valid school leaving certificate (12th) with relevant subject combination and proficiency in German language (approx. B1 level based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Your subject knowledge and if applicable German language proficiency will be tested in an entrance exam (Aufnahmepruefung) by the course coordinators before you enroll yourself in foundation course. On successfully taking the Feststellungspruefung, which has a written and an oral component, you are eligible to apply for a bachelor degree course. Please remember that success in this examination does not automatically lead to an admission to a University or FH.
How do I go about applying?
Make sure that you start preparing at least a year in advance and follow these steps:
Step 1: Collect general information from the DAAD, internet and brochures. Attend counseling sessions at the DAAD closer to you! We have our offices in Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. For our addresses, please visit www.daaddelhi.org
Step 2: Contact the selected university. This will be your most important source of information as far as exact details about eligibility, course duration, fee, application procedure etc. are concerned. Check the application deadline for courses chosen!
Step 3: Send the application packet. The website of the course / university you have chosen will carry details about application procedure to be followed. Accordingly, send your application either to the university or to UNI-ASSIST. UNI-ASSIST is a body that accepts your application, screens it and forwards it to its member universities of your choice against payment. The fee for applying to one university through UNI-ASSIST is 68 Euro and then 15 Euro for every additional university. Member universities of UNI-ASSIST often do not entertain direct applications. So please check well before you send in your papers. For detailed information and list of member universities, visit http://www.uni-assist.de If you have chosen a university that is not a member of UNI-ASSIST, send your application directly. In any case, the webpage of the course you have selected will always give information about the application procedure. Application forms and other relevant material can be downloaded from the internet. Make sure you have a valid passport!
Step 4: Apply for a student visa as soon as you have the admission letter, as the procedure can take around two months. The German Embassy and the Consulates require proof of funding for the first year of studies (approx. INR 4-5 lakh). To find out where you should apply for a visa, visit: http://www.new-delhi.diplo.de/Vertretung/newdelhi/en/02/Embassy.html Apply for a place in a hostel. In some cases the International Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt) of the university will help you.
Step 5: Arrive in Germany at least a week before your course begins. Contact the International Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt) of your university for guidance.
Step 6: Get your residence permit within the first three months of your stay in Germany from the Foreigners’ Registration Office (Auslaenderamt). Here we would like to reiterate that you should necessarily check the website of / contact the chosen university for exact programme / Studienkolleg details.
What kind of budget should I have in my mind?
In Germany, education is subsidized by the state and therefore most of the institutions of higher education charge no or very little tuition fee – to the tune of 500 Euro per semester. Thus, in Germany virtually every student gets a scholarship! However, you will need to pay semester contribution ranging from Euro 50 to 250, depending upon the university and the services or benefits included. For certain special courses you may need to pay higher tuition fees. Apart from the tuition / semester fees you will require about Euro 740 (approx. INR 45,000) per month for subsistence i.e. housing, food, clothing, study material and other expenses such as health insurance and leisure activities. This amount can vary from city to city, and of course from lifestyle to lifestyle!
Are there any scholarships available?
Funding in Germany is available in principle for research and in some cases at the master level. To get a comprehensive overview of various funding possibilities, please visit www.fundingguide.de
Can I work in Germany – as a student and later as a professional?
As an international student, you are permitted to work for up to 120 full days or 240 half days in a year. This will help you in getting a bit of extra pocket-money! After completing your degree in Germany, you can stay on in the country for up to 1.5 years to look for a job that is in keeping with your education. Once you find a job, the residence permit issued to you for the purpose of studying, can be converted into a residence permit for taking gainful employment.
Germany has always had a very strong industry-academia linkage. A lot of scientific research is funded by the industry as well. During your studies you can get the opportunity to do internships with German companies, which can open new vistas for your professional career.
We hope that with this information you have a fair overview of higher education in Germany and what you have to do to get there. If you want to know more about universities and student life or read what other international students have to say about Germany, surf on www.study-in.de . And we must mention that your reading of this document is not complete unless you have also visited the websites we have provided you with!
Mr Johannes Wenzel (Honorary Director)
DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)
DAAD Information Center Chennai
German Academic Exchange Service
20/10, Jaganathan Road, B Block, 1st Floor,
Nungambakkam, Chennai 600034